July 19, 2024

West Indies vs England: Shai Hope denies tourists in tense finale to seal four-wicket win and 3-2 T20 series victory | Cricket News


Shai Hope’s unbeaten 43 guided the West Indies to a tense four-wicket win over England in the final T20 international and a 3-2 series victory.

England’s innings never really got going after they were inserted to bat after losing the toss, with slow left-armer Gudakesh Motie taking career-best T20I figures of 3-24 as the tourists were skittled out for 132 with three balls of their 20 overs remaining.

Phil Salt again led the way for England, but even he could only manage 38 following his match-winning centuries in the third and fourth matches of the series which had proven pivotal in setting up a decider in the last game of the tour.

Impressive four-over spells from seamer Reece Topley (2-17) and spinner Adil Rashid (2-21) kept England in the hunt during the West Indies’ reply, as did Sam Curran’s stunning penultimate over, but a six from Hope with four balls of the game left sealed the match and a series victory in spectacular style.

England stumble batting first

England made a decent start after being made to bat first, but Rovman Powell’s decision to rotate his bowlers early on yielded an early breakthrough in the fourth over as Buttler’s attempted scoop off Jason Holder saw the England skipper caught by Oshane Thomas at short fine leg for a run-a-ball 11.

Will Jacks followed him back to the pavilion for just seven in the following over, being bowled by Akeal Hosein just one ball after striking the first six of the innings with a hefty shot back down the ground which evaded the leaping Andre Russell on the boundary.

Opener Salt was determined to lead the rebuilding job for England, yet the back-to-back centurion was on his way in the seventh over after smiting 38 from just 22 balls as he was bowled by a superb delivery from Gudakesh Motie which spun past the outside edge of his bat.

West Indies' Jason Holder..celebrates with Akeal Hosein..taking the wicket of England's captain Jos Buttler during the fifth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
West Indies bowler Jason Holder and Akeal Hosein were among the wickets early in England’s innings

The left-armer accounted for Harry Brook for just seven two overs later as well, being top-edged to wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran, while fellow slow bowler Hosein claimed his second wicket in the 15th over after Andre Russell and Powell combined on the boundary for the latter to make the catch off Moeen Ali, who departed after a brisk 23 from 21 balls.

England’s last five wickets fell for just 22 runs. Livingstone (28) became Motie’s third scalp of the innings when he airily prodded one back to the bowler in the 17th over, and then two wickets in as many balls from seamer Russell put the hosts firmly in charge.

First, he bowled Chris Woakes for seven with a superb yorker coming around the wicket to the right-hander and then had Rehan Ahmed on his way for a golden duck with an excellent caught and bowled.

Adil Rashid being run out for one looking for a second run and Curran (12) hitting Holder to Sherfane Rutherford in the deep saw England’s innings come to a close in the final over, leaving the West Indies chasing 133 for victory.

Bowlers shine, but Hope springs eternal

England's Chris Woakes..celebrates taking the wicket of West Indies' Nicholas Pooran, left, during the fifth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Chris Woakes celebrates taking the wicket of West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran as England made a good start with the ball

Seemingly up against it in their efforts to snatch a series win, Topley made a breakthrough for England in the third over of the reply as opener Brandon King skied one up to Buttler to depart for just three.

New batter Pooran, who was perhaps fortunate not become another Topley wicket when he was given not out for a caught behind and England opted not to review despite later TV replays showing they may have had a case, made 10 before being bowled by the Chris Woakes the following over.

The world’s No 1 T20I bowler Rashid got in on the act too, striking with the final ball of his first over as Johnson Charles chased a wide full toss and slapped it straight to Buttler at mid-off, and picked up a second in his final over when Rutherford was caught at extra cover by Curran for 30.

Topley returned to get home skipper Powell out for just eight, caught low by Rashid in the 17th over and then Curran came to the fore with a superb six balls two overs later which saw him remove the big-hitting Russell for eight, caught in the deep by Livingstone and go for just two runs from it.

England's Adil Rashid, left, celebrates with captain Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali..taking the wicket of West Indies' Johnson Charles during the fifth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Adil Rashid took two wickets to help keep England in with a chance

That left the West Indies needing nine from the final over, but England’s hopes were snuffed out when Hope got after a wider delivery from Woakes and hammered it all the way for six to deny Buttler’s side an improbable series victory after recovering from 2-0 down to force a decider.

What they said

Player of the series Phil Salt:

“It is disappointing to come out on the wrong end of the series. We took it as deep as we could but Shai [Hope] played a good knock. I think we will be better off for the experiences we have had here.

“I am enjoying the conversations I have had with Jos [Buttler] and learning off him. International cricket has been a learning curve for me so far and I am going to keep trying to take in as much as I can.”

England captain Jos Buttler:

“The conditions were different [to Tuesday], used wicket, and we probably didn’t quite manage to adapt quickly enough. I thought 160 would have been a good score to defend.

“I thought it was a fantastic effort. We needed wickets to win the game and we did well to hang on in as long as we did. If we had had more runs to play with it would have allowed us to put more pressure on the opposition.”

What’s next?

England’s Test team return to action next month when they head to India for a five-match series, starting with the first Test in Hyderabad on January 25. The next action for the white-ball side is on home soil in May when Pakistan head to England for a four-match T20I series ahead of next year’s World Cup.

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